What’s to become of a 9-year-old boy who pleaded guilty in connection with a murder? The Arizona Republic says that question has twisted the Apache County, Az., justice system in knots for nearly a year as attorneys, psychiatrists, victims, probation officers, a judge and local residents consider the fate of Christian Romero.
Judge Michael Roca announced that he was going to reject a plea agreement that calls for probation, instead sentencing Christian to a juvenile prison. A defense attorney charged that the judge was swayed by local politics and should be removed. In 2008, Christian – at the time an 8-year-old in third grade – came home from school, loaded his .22-caliber rifle and waited. His father, Vince Romero, arrived at the residence a short time later and was shot multiple times on the stairwell. Then, Tim Romans, a family friend and housemate, was gunned down in the front yard.